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Junior Blossom has finally created the ultimate invention--the Green Phantom. It's big, black, Day-Glo green, and it's beautiful! All it needs is the secret ingredient.
The whole family makes a promise to ensure that Junior's invention will be a success, a Blossom promise that can never be broken.
Family and friends gather to launch the Green Phantom, but where are Pap and his dog, Mud? They wouldn't break a Blossom promise unless they were in serious trouble....
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Betsy Byars, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, received a degree in English from Queens College there. Currently, she lives in Clemson, SC with her husband, a college professor. They have four grown children--one son and three daughters--and five grandchildren. "My own hobbies," Byars says, "are rather quiet. I like to read and do needlework, and I love animals. But my husband has some very interesting hobbies, and through him, I've learned to fly and earned my pilot's license. Together, we fly all over the United States. Since our children are all grown now, we also travel a great deal in Europe, but we take commercial flights because our plane is not really equipped to make transatlantic flights."From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6 Junior Blossom is inventing again, but this time no one cares enough to ask about the secret his ``KEEP OUT'' signs conceal. A remark of his mother's brings Junior's world crashing down, as she tells his sister Maggie how proud her father would have been of her. Junior's grief makes him the focus of everyone's concern, and getting his newest invention, a flying saucer, off the ground becomes a family project. Byars develops her story subtly, using shifting points of view to delineate her characters. Each chapter leads logically and simply into the next; yet by the end of the story readers understand several different viewpoints and have followed a subplot involving Pap, Mud, and an abandoned puppy. This is no small accomplishment for independent readers in fourth or fifth grade and is excellent preparation for more complex reading. The Blossoms are totally real and believable, yet quirky enough to be fun. Maggie yearns for her mother's approval and companionship, but values friend Ralphie for his flamboyance as well as his faithfulness. Vern is anxious to win a friend of his own, to separate himself from his ``different'' family and be like other people; like Junior, he misses his dead father. Junior is a free spirit, inventive and adventurous but in need of support. And in Pap, imprisoned in and rescued from a garbage dumpster, Byars conveys the poignance of aging and the value of deep and lasting affection. This is a story about love in its many forms. Like Byars' best, it is rock-solid and full of chuckles, and it lingers in the mind. Dudley B. Carlson, Princeton Public Library, N.J.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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